Arizona Trail – Day 4 (30 miles)
Well, today was interesting. It peaked at 4.30pm as I walked along the trail with my underwear on my elbow, balls hanging on top of my shorts, my hat tucked into the back of my shirt and a few cuts on my legs. I was simply hoping that I would not run into anyone.
Winding back to the start, I was woken at 11 pm last night with the previous calm night change into 30 miles/hr gusts of wind. This was not a big deal, and I put my Hexamid up to block the wind.
I woke up again at 6 am and got going. I was keen to see what the rest of the Mt Wrightson alternative had in store. I walked the half mile to Florida Saddle. Here the well-maintained trail to date turned to completely unmaintained. Luckily it only lasted a mile before it became clear again, but I did have to push through a few thorny bushes and gained a few cuts in the process.
Once past Florida Peak, the trail returned to normal. I spent the rest of the alternative walking through a beautiful canyon of furs and springs before a 2-mile dirt road walk back to the trail. (Given how good the ridge walk was yesterday, I still highly recommend AzT thru-hikers do this alternative. Trail notes in comments, or send me a DM). After a lunch break at a stock trough, I got even more burnt to the point of being painful. I usually use an umbrella but it did not arrive in time (maybe because of Easter?). I needed to cover up but had nothing in my pack that wouldn’t make me overheat (which could be dangerous). I could not even use dirt as it was so sandy that it would not stick.
I found shade and waited. I only waited an hour as I did not have a lot of water so needed to get to the next water source 10 miles away tonight.
I contemplated cutting the toes of my socks off and using them as sleeves but settled on the less destructive option of stripping and using my underwear to block my left arm from the sun.
Not my finest hour, but I was not likely to see anyone. I scared off a few cows, grabbed some water from their pond and pressed on another few minutes before I found my camp spot for the night.